The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power (Paperback)
  • The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power (Paperback)
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The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power (Paperback)

(author)
£24.95
Paperback 360 Pages
Published: 01/02/2022
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Winner of the George Perkins Marsh Prize
Winner of the Stuart L. Bernath Prize
Winner of the W. Turrentine Jackson Award
Winner of the British Association of American Studies Prize

“Extraordinary…Deftly rearranges the last century and a half of American history in fresh and useful ways.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“A smart, original, and ambitious book. Black demonstrates that the Interior Department has had a far larger, more invasive, and more consequential role in the world than one would expect.”
—Brian DeLay, author of War of a Thousand Deserts

When considering the story of American power, the Department of the Interior rarely comes to mind. Yet it turns out that a government agency best known for managing natural resources and operating national parks has constantly supported America’s imperial aspirations.

Megan Black’s pathbreaking book brings to light the surprising role Interior has played in pursuing minerals around the world—on Indigenous lands, in foreign nations, across the oceans, even in outer space. Black shows how the department touted its credentials as an innocuous environmental-management organization while quietly satisfying America’s insatiable demand for raw materials. As presidents trumpeted the value of self-determination, this almost invisible outreach gave the country many of the benefits of empire without the burden of a heavy footprint. Under the guise of sharing expertise with the underdeveloped world, Interior scouted tin sources in Bolivia and led lithium surveys in Afghanistan. Today, it promotes offshore drilling and even manages a satellite that prospects for Earth’s resources from outer space.

“Offers unprecedented insights into the depth and staying power of American exceptionalism…as generations of policymakers sought to extend the reach of U.S. power globally while emphatically denying that the United States was an empire.”
—Penny Von Eschen, author of Satchmo Blows Up the World

“Succeeds in showing both the central importance of minerals in the development of American power and how the realities of empire could be obscured through a focus on modernization and the mantra of conservation.”
—Ian Tyrrell, author of Crisis of the Wasteful Nation

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674271197
Number of pages: 360
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Black’s extraordinary book…demonstrates the remarkable reach of the Interior Department…By zooming in on the work of this important but too easily forgotten agency, The Global Interior deftly rearranges the last century and a half of American history in fresh and useful ways…Most notably, her book allows us to see how settler colonialism served as the staging ground for the United States’s rise to its superpower status. - Dexter Fergie, Los Angeles Review of Books

The Global Interior offers unprecedented insights into the depth and staying power of American exceptionalism. Black offers a lively rendering of the torturous obfuscation of the inside and outside, domestic and foreign, as generations of policymakers sought to extend the reach of U.S. power globally while emphatically denying that the United States was an empire. - Penny M. Von Eschen, author of Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War

A smart, original, and ambitious book. Black demonstrates that the Interior Department has had a far larger, more invasive, and more consequential role in the world than one would expect from its carefully cultivated image of domestic scientific benevolence. - Brian DeLay, author of War of a Thousand Deserts

In this stimulating book, Black succeeds in showing both the central importance of minerals in the development of American power and how the realities of empire could be obscured through a focus on modernization and the mantra of conservation. - Ian Tyrrell, author of Crisis of the Wasteful Nation: Empire and Conservation in Theodore Roosevelt’s America

The Global Interior is a model of how to seamlessly combine distinct literatures—environmental and diplomatic histories, Native American studies and the American West—in a fresh and important contribution to our understanding of the United States in the world. - Gretchen Heefner, author of The Missile Next Door: The Minuteman in the American Heartland

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